This op-ed comes from Bruce Kettler, Director of the Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture.
Each year I look forward to Spring, birds begin chirping and my lawn turns green once again. The warmer weather makes it the perfect time to explore one of Indiana’s beautiful state parks with my family and afterwards find the nearest local ice cream shop. While there are sure to be many opportunities for family fun this summer, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my favorite events which features fresh local foods, artisans, food trucks and of course, ice cream – Monumental Marketplace.
Our Indiana Grown team really stepped up to the challenge during a very difficult 2020. Not only did they have to cancel the 2020 Monumental Marketplace, but as we all know, the Indiana Grown state fair store also didn’t happen. Once this all came into realization, looking for new ways to best serve their membership, the Indiana Grown team worked quickly to build an online shopping platform for Indiana Grown members to sell products directly to consumers. Promotion began and shopping soon followed on ShopIndianaGrown.org. This was a tremendous feat, but worthwhile for these great Indiana Grown products to make it right to customers’ front doors.
This year we are excited to continue to offer a place for members to sell their products online through the store as well as reintroduce our in-person markets. The Indiana Grown Monumental Marketplace began in 2017 and I am proud to say has grown each year. On Friday, June 18, 2021 Indiana Grown members will be back on Monument Circle and I am hopeful this will be our best Marketplace to date!
Monumental Marketplace is a farmers market style event held on Monument Circle each June and features dozens of Indiana Grown members. These members will be offering almost anything you can think of, like fresh fruit, local wine and spirits, fresh meats, handmade soaps and lotions, fresh hot pulled pork sandwiches, and local popcorn.
Speaking of popcorn, did you know popcorn grown in Indiana recently became Indiana’s official state snack? Its right up there with tulip trees, cardinals and our beloved sugar cream pie. Monumental Marketplace will have a wide variety of our new official state snack, so be sure you schedule some time to pop in!
Our Indiana Grown staff are pleased to be working with state health officials and the city of Indianapolis to follow all local guidelines in order to provide a safe event for all to enjoy.
Monumental Marketplace will be held on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and I can’t wait to see you there! If you can’t make it, be sure to shop online at ShopIndianaGrown.org for great local Indiana products shipped directly to your door.
– Bruce Kettler, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture